Palace calls on Congress to authorize Duterte to deal on Marcoses' offer
Malacanang urged on Monday Congress to authorize President Rodrigo Duterte to push through negotiations with the heirs of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos on their offer to return to the government some of their alleged wealth, including a few gold bars.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella reiterated Duterte's earlier statement that any talk with the Marcoses should be authorized by Congress.
"We therefore urge the Congress to authorize the President to proceed with negotiations and set parameters taking into account concerns raised by critics and the citizenry," he said.
Human rights activists, particularly those who suffered during Marcos dictatorship, have criticized Duterte on his apparent coldness to pursue the cases against the Marcoses.
It was Duterte who disclosed last week of the offer of the Marcoses to return some of their disclosed wealth, including "a few gold bars" so that the money could help in financing the government's deficit.
He has also said that the spokesman of the Marcoses explained that they have kept the gold bars, hoping that after Marcos was ousted in 1986 through a people's revolt, they could still go back to Malacanang.
Duterte on Saturday admitted that he talked to Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos regarding the offer.
Asked why it would not be the Presidential Commission on Good Government that would deal with the Marcoses regarding the offer, Abella said, "as far as we understand it, it demands a --- not demands, it necessitates setting the proper parameters regarding the matter."
He added the Marcoses' offer "is entirely new ground. So we need guidance."
The PCGG was created through an executive order issued by then President Corazon Aquino to go after all the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies.
"It would be best if we all work together for final justice, closure and national reconciliation," Abella said. Celerina Monte/DMS